The Suns will get to see just what kind of a difference Shaq makes in tonight’s tilt against the Bulls.
Chicago dominated the first meeting, winning 100-83 on Nov. 7 on its home floor, in a game Shaq missed for rest, an issue Bulls head coach Vinny Del Negro used in his pregame speech being that Shaq was sitting out the first game of a back-to-back to be theoretically saved for the next night in Milwaukee.
Things got ugly quick when Chicago went on a 19-1 first-half run in a game the Bulls dominated on the backboards.
Chicago won the battle on the glass 47-33, with Joakim Noah grabbing 14 by himself. That figures to change with Shaq clogging the middle.
Also, the Suns and Bulls both share the dubious distinction of underachieving this season.
You guys know all about the Suns’ struggles that have the team on the precipice of missing the playoffs, just a half-game ahead of Utah for that last playoff spot.
The Bulls, meanwhile, had lost five in a row before beating the Clippers and Sacramento to put them within 1 1/2 games in the “race” for the final playoff spot in the East, but that hasn’t stopped chairman Jerry Reinsdorf from calling the season a “disaster” and the team “an organizational failure.”
Chicago has some nice players, with six guys in double figures, and a local star in Derrick Rose that they can build around.
Just right now the pieces aren’t fitting together well, and where have we heard that before?